Marley Purt Drive

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"Marley Purt Drive"
Label from South African single, released in 1969, with "Melody Fair" as the B-side.
Song by Bee Gees from the album Odessa
Released January 1969 (stereo)
March 1969 (mono)
Recorded 15 August, November 1968
Genre Country rock, roots rock
Label Polydor
Atco (Atco Records)
Writer Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Producer Robert Stigwood, Bee Gees
Odessa track listing

"Marley Purt Drive" is a song recorded by the Bee Gees, It was written by Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb and released in March 1969 on the album Odessa.[1] It was released in stereo in the United States in January and its mono version was released in the United Kingdom in March. The remastered version of this song was released on 27 February 2009 on Reprise Records.[2]

Recording and structure[edit]

While they recorded the song the guitar was played by Barry and Vince Melouney and joined by bluegrass musician Bill Keith on banjo, Maurice on bass and Colin on drums. This song was recorded in New York at Atlantic Studios, and it was recorded two times, the first version was recorded on August 15 and was appeared on Sketches for Odessa in 2006, the second version was finished at IBC Studios in London on November with the orchestra.[3][4] Barry later explains the recording of "Marley Purt Drive" in a 24 March 2001 interview with Billboard, "['Marley Purt Drive'] had a country violinist and banjo player on it because we were listening to American country music at that time".[5]

It was released as a single in July 1969, backed with "Melody Fair" only in South America. The song's demo is entitled alternate mix on Sketches for Odessa and it begins with a false start followed by one count but then goes into an almost identical musical intro. The mix is not really different, and lyrics are the same.[6]

At the very beginning of the song, it features the drum fill by Colin Petersen, and then the guitars by Barry and Vince, with bass by Maurice, and the chords were: A, E, D and A again. At 0:30, it was joined by banjo played Bill Keith doubling the guitars played by Barry and Vince and Maurice's bass. On the chorus, the Keith's banjo was featured again, while Barry sings Cause with fifteen kids and a family on the skids, I got to go for a Sunday drive, the lines was also repeated, but he added a harmony vocals.


This song, owing something to The Band's 1968 hit "The Weight", later appears on the charity compilation album called No One's Gonna Change Our World released on December 12, 1969. Other songs included on that album were "Across the Universe" by The Beatles, "Wings" by The Hollies, "On the Ning Nang Nong" by Spike Milligan and many more.[7] Bruce Eder at Allmusic describes this song as "country-flavored".[8]

On 6 November 1974, they performed the song in Sapporo, Japan during their Mr. Natural tour. In 2009, Barry Gibb performs the song for the rehearsal for the Love and Hope Ball. Along with the well-known songs on the album "First of May" and "Melody Fair", "Marley Purt Drive" (area code 213) is about an orphanage with 35 kids.[9]


Cover versions[edit]

  • Puerto Rican singer José Feliciano recorded "Marley Purt Drive" and his version was released as a single US and Germany in July 19, 1969 on the RCA Records.[10][11][12]
  • Bonnie St. Claire covered this song and was released as a single in 1969 and the B-side was "Let Me Come Back Home, Mama" on Philips Records.[13] Their version was included on The Best Of Bonnie St. Claire (1970).
  • Victor Scott covered this song under the title "Fifteen Kids" backed by "Love is All i Have" on Decca Records in 1970 released as a single, only in Germany.[14]
  • David Frizzell recorded this song and released as a B-side of "Little Toy Trains" in 1969 on Columbia Records.[15]
  • Equipe 84 covered this song under the title "Pomeriggio Ore 6", but only released in Italy on Ricordi Records.[16]
  • Lulu recorded this song, and released as the first track on her 1970 album New Routes.[17] Her version features guitar work by Duane Allman.[18]
  • Jean Bouchéty's version included on the 1971 album The Rhythms Sounds And Melodies Of (1971).[19]
  • Nash Chase's version was released on his self-titled album in 1970.[20]


  1. ^ "Bee Gees - Odessa". 
  2. ^ "Bee Gees – Odessa". Discogs. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 1968". 
  4. ^ Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 2006". 
  5. ^ "The Bee Gees: 35 Years of Music". Billboard: 20. March 24, 2001. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Bennett, Kevin. "Bee Gees Demos - Part 3". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Various – No One's Gonna Change Our World". Discogs. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Bee Gees - Odessa". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Adriaensen, Marion. "History Part 4". Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "José Feliciano – Marley Purt Drive". 
  11. ^ "Jose Feliciano - Marley Purt Drive / Old Turkey Buzzard". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "19 July 1969 Singles". Go-Set Australian Charts. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Bonnie St. Claire - Marley Purt Drive / Let Me Come Back Home, Mama". Discogs. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Victor Scott – Fifteen Kids (Marley Purt Drive)". Discogs. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "David Frizzell – Little Toy Trains / Marley Purt Drive". Discogs. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Equipe 84 – Pomeriggio: Ore 6 / E Poi...". Discogs. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Lulu – New Routes". Discogs. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "DUANE ALLMAN: SKYDOG'S SESSIONS '68-'71". Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "Jean Bouchéty – The Rhythms Sounds And Melodies Of". Discogs. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Nash Chase – Nash Chase". Discogs. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 

External links[edit]